I’m rating Prometheus a 6.5 out of 10. It was enjoyable but misses in a few main ways:
1) Asking the “big questions” is good. Reducing them to patricide and “hulk-smash!” moments is vapid.
2) Ensemble casts are good. Cluttering up a pretty straightforward plot with idiotic asides and incidental scenes is lame. The ballet David goes on to lace Charlie’s drink with Alien-spawn is great. Charlie’s mood swing is instantaneous and weak. Just way too many off-the-point, less-than-meaningful scenes. The entire dialogue between Vickers and the Captain leading to their tryst “in ten minutes” was groan-inducing. Sometimes too many people is too many people; they could have halved the cast and cut out weak scenes.
3) If you’re going to have an old guy, have an old guy, don’t use horrible face make up. Would have been a PERFECT chance to get super-meta with Peter O’Toole playing the old guy while David watches Lawrence of Arabia to get grooming/speaking tips and be “the good son” to his ailing, deathly maker.
4) Let’s stop hiring Lost writers, ok? We don’t need more “wow, there’s some cool tech” shots and attempts at hip jocularity (wink-wink, nudge-nudge, cue the laugh track, etc, etc); we need potent, meaningful images that resonate with us.
5) When you talk about Ridley Scott making a movie, you have a right to expect at least a 9 out of 10. So while I did enjoy this movie just as a fun sci-fi thing, it’s really hard to be happy with this when we’ve got the man behind Blade Runner and Alien making it. It really should have been so much more.
6) If you want a movie to stand on its own, make it stand on its own. This film requires our knowledge of the Alien franchise… and that makes it thin by itself.
7) It’s awesome how some psycho-sexual fetish paintings from the 1970’s basically made this entire series of movies possible. Go 2D!
All of that said, I enjoyed my time with the movie. The visuals and ships were great, and there were nice moments (almost all of them having to do with David). I did like the attempt to connect with deep yearnings that have motivated humankind for our entire history. It’s not a mistake that we seek to grapple with these issues culturally and personally. We want our art forms to deal with them, too. Those questions and concerns deserve our strongest, best efforts as artists.